Bright Side
Bright Side

15+ Strange Items That Had People Guessing Their Real Purposes

Ever since the Internet went live in August 1991, it has helped solve lots of mysteries. If we look closely in our households, we might find items that we’ve been keeping but can’t figure out their use. Thanks to a subreddit in which more than 2 million people roam around, we can ask for help and connect an unknown thingamajig to its real function.

Bright Side found 18 items that had people scratching their heads — let’s see how many of these enigmas you can solve on your own.

1. “Someone donated this to my job today. What is this?”

Answer: It’s a back massager/roller.

2. “I picked this up at a junk shop. There are no markings of any kind on the bottom. Is it one of a kind?”

Answer: “It’s a Ken Edwards Mexican pottery deer figure.”

3. “Found this in the attic of the house I just bought. Any ideas?”

Answer: “Bird spikes. They come in all different shapes and sizes, and this one happens to look mountable onto a pole or something. Think of something you wouldn’t want birds to get up into or on top of — this could’ve been mounted on it, like, for example, on a satellite dish.”

4. “What is this thing? Looks like an inflated plastic bag sticking out of the window of one of the houses on my street.”

Answer: “It’s a positive pressure vent. It’s used when mold is being remediated. When a demo of the affected area is being done, it causes dust with mold spores in them. The tube is hooked up to an air scrubber machine, and that tube sticking out is the machine’s exhaust.”

5. “Grainy-like things? They appear inside and around my closet and reappear whenever I clean them. What are these?”

Answer: “Termite poop. Sorry.”

6. “It has stumped antique dealers for years and even 4 Antiques Roadshow appraisers yesterday. It is 8.5 inches long and the bowl is 2 inches in diameter.”

Answer: “It’s a piece of an old carpet stretcher.”

“It holds tacks used to nail the carpet down while you are stretching it with the stretcher. The curved notch is where you put the tack when ready, then nail it down.”

7. “What is this thing? A cup with an extra smaller cup on the side?”

Answer: “It’s for your used tea bag.”

8. “Found at a yardsale — what is this?”

Answer: “It’s a loving cup — a drinking container used traditionally at weddings and banquets.”

9. “Found these small circular things sewn into the ruffles of a ’70s dress while cleaning it. They are hard and a little smaller than cloves and are different colors.”

Answer: “It’s corn, traditionally sewn into the wedding dress for good luck and fertility!”

10. “Pic 1 is the object in its collapsed state, pic 2 is it fully extended, and pic 3 is a close-up of the mechanism. What is it?”

Answer: “It’s for drying your clothes on.”

11. “Probably a kitchen item made of metal with sharp prongs on the back?”

Answer: “It is for removing kernels from corn.”

12. “Found this in a Goodwill, does anyone know what it is?”

Answer: “It’s a bed warmer. Back before central heating, you’d put coals in it and slide it around your bed to heat it up before you got in.”

13. “A weird spoon with a flat head — we have no idea what it’s for. Any guess helps!”

Answer: “It’s bent like that, so you can get all the jelly or jam out easier. ”

14. What is this?

Answer: “Those are training scissors for small children. Adults can use the second set of finger holds while the child learns control with the first.”

15. “It’s rubber/silicone, the size of a fingertip, doesn’t erase, and about as hard as a bouncy ball but doesn’t bounce like a bouncy ball. It doesn’t light up.”

Answer: “Looks like an ’80s light bulb eraser without the metal bottom; they never really erased anything. Here are a couple of similar ones.”

16. “We got this from our African care child. Any idea what it could be?”

Answer: “It’s a bowl set. The top part is like a spoon you can use to drink from or dish out stuff. The other ones below look like regular bowls. You place the bowls on those red pads.”

17. “A mystery object my grandfather bought at a yardsale — any ideas?”

Answer: It’s a ring-pull can opener.

18. A thin, metallic item with a hole at the top — what is it?

Answer: It’s a twin spoon rest. You use it while cooking to keep the spoons on it, as it prevents sauces from mixing together when preparing 2 different foods.

If you could have any item from the ones above, which one would you choose and why? Where were you in 1991 when the Internet went live? Let us know in the comments.

Bright Side/Curiosities/15+ Strange Items That Had People Guessing Their Real Purposes
Share This Article
You may like these articles